To help people find out more, Animal Aid will be visiting towns and cities across the UK with its ‘Ask a Vegan’ stand. Realising that many people are not familiar with the term ‘vegan’, or the reasons for adopting such a diet, the group will be providing local residents with the opportunity to have all their questions about veganism answered. Information will also be available to take away, including a FREE copy of ‘I can’t believe it’s…vegan’, a 28-page colour booklet packed full of shopping tips, nutritional information, recipes and much more.
Says Vegan Month Co-ordinator, Kelly Slade:
‘Vegan foods – including non-dairy milk, cream, yoghurt, custard, cream cheese, ice cream and much more – can now be found easily in high street shops and supermarkets. Cutting out animal products is good for your health, it’s good for the planet and it’s good for animals, too. So going vegan really is a no-brainer, especially when people realise that they can help to end so much suffering in one simple step. Aspiring vegans will find more information at www.veganmonth.com, including competitions, videos and recipes.
‘Secrets of the Dairy Industry’ can be viewed here: http://www.veganmonth.com/video.html
Background information on dairy and egg production
1. Around 1,000 million animals are slaughtered in the UK every year. Most will have been raised in factory conditions. It is often assumed that the egg and milk industries use animals but don’t kill them. This is not the case. For every female chick hatched who is destined for egg-production, a male chick is also produced. They are useless to the egg industry and so, every year, 30 million of them are gassed or tossed alive into giant industrial shredders. And when the productivity of egg-laying hens declines, they too are slaughtered.
In order to produce milk, cows must first be impregnated. Female calves born to dairy cows may follow their mother into the herd, while male calves are likely to be shot or slaughtered soon after birth. Around 100,000 meet this fate every year. Others are sent to continental veal farms. Dairy cows are usually ‘worn out’ after just three or four lactations and – emaciated and infertile – are slaughtered.
2. Meat and dairy-based diets consume disproportionately large amounts of land, energy and water, compared with a plant-based diet. A major 2006 United Nations report (Livestock’s Long Shadow) found that animal farming is responsible for 18 per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions – more than road and air travel combined. Going vegan could reduce the carbon impact of a person’s diet by 60 per cent.
3. Vegans tend to have lower rates of diet-related diseases than meat-eaters. These include heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.